This summer it final feels as if I am getting this work/life balance thing down, okay honestly I am still a bit heavy on the work side, but this summer I am managing much more studio time for projects I want to be working on. There are still not enough hours in the day, but I am balancing out production work for clients and festivals like these lovely things

All of which will be making their debut at the Miller’s Park art fair at Chautauqua Institution on July 2nd and Bookfest in Buffalo on July 8th.

I’m also finding time to squeeze in work on a huge new installation and experimental new things, here’s a peek at the installation, women hold up half the sky

More to come on this soon!

I’m also hoping to check in here more often. I miss writing about my work, and I really feel that loss when I look back. Writing here helps me understand the cyclical nature of making, the natural ebb and flow of my year. It also helps me to see, I have been here before, this too shall pass, and most of all encourages me to find growth, change and renewal in my studio life. 

And now back to work!

allegany nature pilgrimage


Many of you know that in addition to books, I love installation – especially in the great outdoors. Right after I r returned from PBI I barely had time to catch my breath – or catch up on my sleep – before turning around and heading out to teach at the Allegany Nature Pilgrimage which is held every year on the weekend after memorial day. I have been wanting to attend for many years, but it never seemed to fit into my schedule – but this year I had been asked to teach my Art in the Wild workshops – so I HAD to go!

Even though the forecast had called for rain it was a beautiful weekend – the only rain fell overnight. Just being out at the park renewed my energy, and I love the meditative nature of this kind of work, just feeling your way with the materials, listening to them, paying attention to their formal relationships with their surroundings. The pilgrimage housed and fed me, so all I had to do was play in the woods. The program and the tent speakers were really great and I hope I am invited back again!

So here are some pictures – the better ones were taken as usual by my great friend Jennifer – of what we got up to. (If you were one of my students and don’t see your work – more images to follow – and if you want a higher resolution image, please email me at debraeck at debraeck dot com)



more installation & finally back in the studio

After a glorious day last week, this week in POURED with rain for our outside installation day – not that we would let a bit of rain stop us from making art! (otherwise we Brits would never get any art done!!) I worked with one of my students Heidi under the pavilion, so the work is on concrete, but it is not so bad. Sorting the leaves by color was really soothing and therapeutic with the sound of the river roaring past us and the rain dripping from the roof.

Then I did manage to take a very short break from endless grading today to get up into the studio with my intern for a bit. While she folded and sorted paper (wow I am an evil boss) I finished an “almost duplicate” of the little book I sent in for Seth’s challenge, hidden away at the very bottom is a tiny envelope, I am not telling what I put in the one I sent to Seth – he may or may not share my secret, and it was very personal – but while I was making them I kept thinking about that little rhyme – I sent a letter to my love, it was a playground game when I was a kid back in England. So that’s what I decided to put in this one. Can’t wait until next Friday when all my final grades are in and I can spend some time in the studio before I have to start my summer-pay-for-a-wedding-job.

I sent a letter to my love and on the way I dropped it


room for utopia

it is finished and waiting in the Weeks Gallery for you to dream in.

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“All my writing is about the recognition that there is no single reality. But the beauty of it is that you nevertheless go on, walking towards utopia, which may not exist, on a bridge which might end before you reach the other side.” ~ Marguerite Young

book art & Utopias

My facebook friends are always sharing inspiration with me, and I wanted to pass this one on to all of you as the work is so wonderful. I am feeling inspired to start a guerrilla book art project of my own!!

On the home front or should I say studio front I am still wrestling with the installation of the new utopia work at the Week’s Gallery. It is close but not quite there. I have another sneak peak to share with you, but I can’t wait to get a real photographer in there to take a good picture to share once it is completely installed and beautifully lit!!

Lastly, this is day late but Seth over at the altered page put out a call for images of our paper stacks, so here is a stack of cast paper from the installation waiting to be sewn into walls in my studio. I am using the fact that my hard drive crashed on my desktop and left me computer-less for a few days as my excuse (not a good excuse but…)

PS. Check out LaWendula’s post about the One Tribe One He(art) bags which are still hanging in there in their tree in Germany! How amazing is that!! Check out her post here

:: Life without utopia is suffocating, for the multitude at least: threatened otherwise with petrifaction, the world must have a new madness:: E.M. CIORAN, History and Utopia